Top 10 Most Valuable Unicorns In United States 2022
Top 10 Most Valuable Unicorns In United States 2022
Uber. Have you heard of it? Everybody knows it these days.
Not every startup can grab growth by the horn, so it’s not easy to become a household brand. The establishment of a company these days requires a brave and talented team, especially when the failure rate after five years is over 50% and after ten years, more than 70%. The unicorn group of startups, however, has managed to bridge the gap between the venture world and billion-dollar organizations. They only continue to grow each year.
With 66 new startups inducted in this influential group within the last six months, venture capital is already booming through 2020. Around the world, there are more than 600 unicorn startups valued at just over $2 trillion.
Getting to be a unicorn is the dream of all startups, so how can you achieve it? Throughout this guide, you’ll learn about some of the characteristics that make unicorns unique, including their geographic location, breakdown of their industry, and lessons that can apply to your startup. As a result, you will know how to model your startup better and how to navigate unicorn land.
Are you familiar with unicorns? That beautiful mythical creature is not what you are imagining! Aileen Lee popularized the term unicorn in 2013, so today’s generation has a different understanding of unicorns. Now let’s explain these mythical creatures. An estimated $1 billion is the valuation of this private startup company.
Furthermore, there are over 900 unicorns around the world as of December 2021, according to records. Doesn’t that make you think the world is rich? Facebook, Google, and Airbnb were once popular unicorns around the world. Do you remember them? Of course you do! Later on, these unicorns grew into some of the world’s largest companies. Let’s look at the unicorns currently ruling the US.
Unicorn startups: What makes them so unique?
Aileen Lee was the first to coin the term “unicorn startup” in 2013, meaning a company valued at or over $1 billion. Like the mythical creature, the statistical rarity of such a successful business venture is extremely unlikely, but it does happen.
The first time Lee counted, there were 39 unicorns. Seven years later, we’re witnessing the birth of a unicorn every three days. What have unicorn startups become? Why have they become a norm rather than a rare breed?
As the club has opened up worldwide, the number of startup companies achieving unicorn status has increased synchronously. Initially, Lee’s criteria for startup companies receiving unicorn horns was a bit more narrow: “U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued over $1 billion.”. China now makes up about 25% of unicorns, the U.S. about 48% and other countries make up the rest.
Another well-established phenomenon is the so-called mega rounds, or venture capital deals worth over $100 million dollars. VC (venture capital) used to be a rare occurrence in 2013, when the term first became a buzzword, but times change, and VC has evolved.
The amount of venture capital funding in the first half of 2020 alone reached $129 billion despite a global pandemic hampering the industry.
Many unicorn leaders choose to stay private for longer rather than take advantage of the excess of capital, knowing that some of the drawbacks of public ownership can outweigh the benefits. Companies have been able to raise vast amounts of funding in the private market due to the JOBS Act of 2012 and seek investors who understand their hesitation to go public.
Mega-rounds, private unicorn clubs, and global unicorn membership are all part of the new normal at the unicorn age.
Listed below are the top unicorns in the United States. In very little time, the following startup companies have made a mark in the US market.
Top 10 Most Valuable Unicorns in the United States 2022
Valuation- $100 billion
Unicorn Entry- 2012
Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, SpaceX is a space exploration corporation. SpaceX is headquartered in Hawthorne, California. As the founder of SpaceX, Musk set out to decrease the cost of space transportation and to colonize Mars. Among many products developed by the company are liquid propellent rockets, spacecraft, and orbital rockets. As part of its commercial internet services, Starlink is launching a mega constellation.
A space transportation company and a communications corporation based in Hawthorne, California, SpaceX is part of the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX). Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 with the goal of reducing space transportation costs so that Mars can be colonized. SpaceX manufactures launch vehicles including the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, rocket engines such as the Falcon 9 as well as crew spacecraft and communications satellites such as the Starlink.
SpaceX’s accomplishments include being the first private company to launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft, launching a spacecraft to the International Space Station, performing the first vertical takeoff and horizontal touchdown of an orbital rocket, launching astronauts to orbit, and sending astronauts to the International Space Station. Falcon 9 rockets have been launched over 100 times by SpaceX.
As part of its commercial internet service development, SpaceX is developing the satellite constellation Starlink. The Starlink constellation will become the largest satellite constellation ever launched when it launches in January 2020. Starship is also a privately-funded, super heavy-lift, fully reusable launcher for interplanetary travel. Once operational, Starship will replace SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles. Its debut, scheduled for 2022, will be the biggest launch ever for an orbital rocket.
Country- United States
Valuation- $95 billion
Unicorn Entry- 2014
San Francisco-based Stripe is a financial services company. Nonetheless, the company also has a Dublin office. It specializes in developing mobile and web-based applications. Radar, a tool to block fraudulent transactions, was an achievement of this program.
A $2 million funding round from venture capitalists Peter Thiel , Elon Musk, Sequoia Capital, SV Angel, and Andreessen Horowitz occurred in May 2011. A private beta version of Stripe was released in September 2011.
Piabo, a German company, began working with Stripe in May 2020. Moreover, the company expanded its presence to five new markets in Europe: the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta.
Stripe acquired Nigerian payment processor Paystack for $200 million, as part of a broader expansion into Africa with Stripe Services.
The Stripe company announced plans to expand in Southeast Asia (SEA), China, India, and Japan in December 2020. It will add 200 employees to its regional workforce. A further $600 million was raised by Stripe in March 2021, valuing the company at $95 billion, to expand their European HQ.
TaxJar, a Massachusetts-based company that provides cloud-based tax services, was acquired by Stripe in April 2021. It is believed that the acquisition was in the region of $200M, but details of the deal were not disclosed.
3. Epic Games
Country- United States
Valuation- $42 billion
Unicorn Entry- 2018
The Cary, California-based company Epic Games develops video games and software. Founded in 1991 by Tim Sweeney, it offers video games, music, and more. Potomac Computer Systems was the original name. In 1991, it released the video game ZZT. Unreal Engine is a commercially available game engine developed by the company. The engine also powers internal game development.
Based in Cary, North Carolina, Epic Games, Inc. develops and publishes video games and software. Originally located as Potomac Computer Systems in Potomac, Maryland, Tim Sweeney started the company in 1991. Following the release of the video game ZZT in 1991, the business changed its name to Epic MegaGames, Inc. in early 1992, and Mark Rein became the company’s vice president thereafter. The studio simplified its name to Epic Games in 1999 after moving their headquarters to Cary.
Besides creating their own video games through Unreal Engine , Epic Games creates video games developed for themselves, including Fortnite, Gears of War, Infinity Blade, and Unreal . Earlier this year, Guinness World Records named Unreal Engine as the most successful videogame engine.
In addition to other game makers such as Chair Entertainment, Psyonix, Mediatonic, and Harmonix, Epic Games owns cloud-based software developer Cloudgine and operates studios in Seattle, Yokohama, Berlin, and England.
Tencent, while remaining the controlling shareholder, acquired 48.4% of Epic’s outstanding shares in 2012, contributing to its goal of becoming a games as a service company. Additionally, following the launch of Fortnite Battle Royale in 2017, Epic Games received additional investments which enabled the company to expand its Unreal Engine offerings, establish Fortnite esports events, and launch the Epic Games Store. The company’s equity valuation was US$28.7 billion as of April 2021.
A new version of Fortnite was released by Epic on August 13, 2020, enabling players to purchase V-bucks at a discount across all platforms, though it was only available to iOS and Android users who purchased directly from Epic instead of Apple and Google. Epic Games filed lawsuits against Google and Apple the same day, accusing them of antitrust violations in how they operate their app stores, so both companies removed the game from their respective app stores for violating the terms of service.
Country- United States
Valuation- $39 billion
Unicorn Entry- 2014
Both the US and Canada are served by this popular retailer. Both countries have an Instantcart service that delivers groceries and offers pickup. It can be accessed through a mobile app and website.
InstaCart is a grocery delivery service and pick-up service in the United States and Canada operated by an American company. Customers access InstantCart’s services through its mobile app and website. A personal shopper orders groceries from participating retailers and does the shopping for the customer.
- Model of service:
A personal shopper fulfills and delivers orders within the customer’s designated delivery timeframe. They pick, packs, and delivers the order within one hour or up to five days in advance. Debit or credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and EBT cards are accepted as payment methods. For orders over $35, delivery costs $3.99, whereas it costs $7.99 if the order is less than $35.
The minimum service fee is $2 regardless of the price of the order. For $9.99 a month or $99 a year, Instacart offers a membership service called Instacart Express. Orders over $35 can be delivered free of charge to members, but the service fee for shoppers must still be paid. Orders over $35 can be delivered free of charge to members, but the service fee for shoppers must still be paid.
Participating retailers set the prices of items on Instacart’s marketplace. Instacart’s marketplace prices are mostly identical to those in stores. The store also offers a separate pickup service for customers who have pre-made orders. If you order from a store that does not participate in Instacart’s partnership program, you can expect a markup in the range of 15%-40% plus item markups of over 50%.
Country- United States
Valuation- $38 billion
Unicorn Entry- 2019
Founded in 2013, Databricks is a popular software company. Apache Spark creators hoped to create multiple open-source projects using this unicorn. Many of them are data science, machine learning, and data engineering projects. The company develops cloud data platforms and sells them. The creators of Apache Spark founded Databricks, an American enterprise software company. Databricks provides a Spark-based web platform, providing management of clusters and IPython notebooks for working with Spark.
Andreessen Horowitz raised $13.9 million from Databricks and announced the company would offer an alternative to Google’s MapReduce system in September 2013. Databricks saw Microsoft invest in the Series E of the company, but the amount was not disclosed. At the end of February 2021, the company will be valued at $28 billion, after raising $1.9 billion in funding, including a $1 billion series G led by Franklin Templeton. AWS , CapitalG (under Alphabet, Inc.), and Salesforce Ventures are among the other investors.
With the marketing term “lakehouse”, Databricks sells its cloud data platform, a portmanteau involving the terms “data warehouse” and “data lake”. The Lakehouse database for DataBricks is built on the Apache Spark open source framework, which supports analytical queries against semi-structured data without relying on a traditional database schema.
The new Delta Engine atop Databricks’ Delta Lake, released in June 2020, boosts query performance by laying on top of the previous platform. As part of Databricks, Spark is also compatible with MLflow and Apache Spark.
For running business intelligence and analytics reports on top of data lakes, Databricks will introduce Databricks SQL (formerly SQL Analytics) in November 2020. Analysers can query the data directly with standard SQL queries or integrate with business intelligence tools such as Tableau , Qlik , Looker , and ThoughtSpot with the use of product connectors.
Also included in Databricks is a platform for machine learning, data storage and processing, streaming analytics, business intelligence, and data storage.
A number of other open source projects have also been developed by the company, including Delta Lake, MLflow, and Koalas, which span data science, data engineering, and machine learning. Furthermore, the company has built Databricks platform and collaborated with Spark community to organise Massive Open Online Courses and a conference called Data + AI Summit, which was formerly Spark Summit.
Country- United States
Valuation- $25 billion
Unicorn Entry- 2019
Central National Bank or The Bankcorp Bank owns and provides this financial technology company with free mobile banking services. They also get access to online banking through it. Account holders are issued Visa debit cards. Interchange fees are the primary source of revenue for the company.
Account-holders are issued Visa debit cards or credit cards and have access to an online banking system through the company’s website or mobile app. Chipe Financial, Inc. is an American financial technology company that provides fee-free mobile banking services provided by Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A. Account-holders may use their Visa debit cards or credit cards to access their accounts. Interchange fees are the largest source of revenue for Chime.
It doesn’t charge fees for overdrafts or monthly maintenance. According to Chime, it had 8 million account holders as of February 2020. Our partners provide bank accounts that are insured up to a maximum deposit coverage of $250,000.
With Chime, you can open account with no minimum balance, automate savings, and get access to your wages early.
A fee-free overdraft service dubbed SpotMe was launched by Chime in September 2019, allowing customers to borrow up to $100 without incurring an overdraft fee; once the overdraft limit is reached, purchases are declined but no negative balance fees are incurred. The Chime Credit Builder credit card, launched in June 2020, aims to build credit histories.
Country- United States
Valuation- $18 billion
Unicorn Entry- 2012
It’s headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and has been around since 1995. The company primarily sells sports equipment, apparel, and merchandise. Incorporated in 1985 by Alan Trager, Fanatics boasts of having relationships with over 1080 product vendors and companies including Majestic, Adidas, Nike, and Reebok.
Sportswear, sports equipment, and merchandise are sold by Fanatics, Inc., an American online retailer. The company was founded in 1995 and is based in Jacksonville, Florida. Sports collectibles and memorabilia are available through Fanatics Authentic and SportsMemorabilia.com, as well as products under its Fanatics and FansEdge brands.
Their e-commerce sites serve over 150 collegiate teams, professional teams, and major league sports franchises. As well as the United States Olympic Team, they are the exclusive distributor for Paris Saint-Germain on the Internet.
There are over 1,080 vendors affiliated with Fanatics, such as Empire Warehouse, Freeworld, Front Row Couture, ‘47 Brand, Adidas, Majestic, Mitchell & Ness, New Era, Nike, Reebok, Rock ‘Em Apparel, Under Armour, and hundreds more. Also owned by Fanatics, Inc. is Fanatics Apparel, a manufacturer of licensed sports apparel exclusively for the Fanatics network of websites.
Country- United States
Valuation- $15 billion
Unicorn Entry- 2020
Besides the United States, the company is also based in England. The company’s headquarters is in Philadelphia. Over 650 cities in the U.S. are served by the unicorn. As of 2021, the company will be worth $15 billion, which will shock you. It seems like a huge sum, doesn’t it?
A Philadelphia based company that delivers food and consumer goods, Gopuff is based in the United States. By October 2021, the company will operate in approximately 500 microfulfillment centers in 650 US cities. Following the acquisition of Newcastle upon Tyne -based Fancy, it is also present in the United Kingdom. It is currently valued at $15 billion at the end of 2021.
- Operation and services:
In addition to typical convenience store items such as snacks and drinks, Gopuff provides pet and baby products such as diapers. Some markets offer delivery of alcohol such as beer and wine. Gopuff launched goBeer, an on-demand beer delivery service in December 2015.
GoBooze is the company’s alcohol delivery service launched in May 2016. goBrands is the company behind these services. In addition to food, medication, and pet supplies, the company owns warehouses that stock many of the products it delivers.
9. Plaid Technologies
Valuation- $13.4 billion
Unicorn Entry- 2018
San Francisco-based Fintech startup Encompass is also based in California. Data transfers are made possible by this network, which is used by Fintech and other digital finance companies. The company also provides applications that allow users to connect their bank accounts with its technology platform. In addition to the United States, Plaid Technologies also operates in the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, France, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
San Francisco-based Paid provides financial services. Fintech and digital finance products are powered by the company’s data transfer network. The company’s product, a technology platform, allows users’ bank accounts to be connected to applications. Financial technology applications provide consumers and businesses with access to their bank accounts, to check bank balances, and to make payments.
Companies in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Ireland, and the Netherlands operate the company. Announcing its intent to acquire Plaid on January 13, 2020, Visa announced that it would pay $5.3 billion for the company. After the United States Department of Justice objected to the deal due to monopolist concerns, antitrust concerns and data privacy concerns, Visa abandoned the deal.
William Hockey and Zach Perret founded Paid in 2013. Initially, the duo wanted to create software for budgeting and bookkeeping for consumers. Having trouble connecting bank accounts for these tools, they chose to pivot towards a unified banking API as their primary business focus.
Payed enables Fintech and digital finance products through a data transfer network. Essentially, this means that apps such as Venmo and Chime can operate as banks without their own infrastructure having to be developed. Plaid users need to share their bank login credentials in order to link their bank accounts instantly.
Users may access bank data through their bank’s portal instead of through Plaid if their bank does not provide access credentials. Plaid announced in October 2020 the “all-new Plaid Link”, a means to simplify the process of connecting financial products.
Spark Capital, Google Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates invested $2.8 million in Plaid in late 2013. New Enterprise Associates invested $12.5 million in Plaid in 2014.
During the company’s Series C round announced on December 11, 2018, it was valued at $2.65 billion. Andreessen Horowitz and Index Ventures also invested in the round led by Mary Meeker. Spark Capital, Goldman Sachs, NEA and Goldman Sachs participated as well. Visa and Mastercard both made investments in the round, it was revealed by Plaid later. A $425 million Series D at a valuation of $13.4 billion was raised by Plaid on April 7, 2021.
Valuation- $13 billion
Unicorn Entry- 2019
Who hasn’t heard of Grammarly? Users around the world have made millions of corrections to their grammar and tone using this popular cloud-based writing assistant. With the help of an artificial intelligence algorithm, it finds alternatives to wrong words in the platform. The original version of this writing assistant was released in 2009, and it remains a popular tool to this day. In addition to spelling, punctuation, and grammar, engagement, and clarity, the content is reviewed from beginning to end.
It provides assessments of spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement, and delivery mistakes with a cross-platform cloud-based typing assistant. Using artificial intelligence, it finds a suitable replacement for any error it finds. Additionally, users are able to customize the style, tone, and language used in their messages. Ukraine’s Alex Shevchenko, Max Lytvyn and Dmytro Lider launched it in 2009. The Grammarly browser extension, optimized for Google Docs, was launched in 2018 as a beta version.
This software was developed by Grammarly Inc, which has offices in Kyiv, New York and Vancouver in addition to its headquarters in San Francisco.
Max Lytvyn, Alex Shevchenko, and Dmytro Lider founded Grammarly in 2009 when they developed a program designed to detect plagiarism called My Dropbox. Although Grammarly was originally intended to be a program to teach English at universities, sales were slow since universities could buy it for years at a time. They decided to sell the product directly to individuals.
In contrast to Ukrainian universities, Western universities are more open to new technologies, according to Alex Shevchenko. At the same time, Lytvyn and Shevchenko decided to shift the focus of the project, so it is not only for those studying English, but for everyday English users as well.
Grammarly, founded in Ukraine, announced in 2022 that it would donate all profit it had made in Russia and Belarus since 2014 in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 .
A round of funding raised by the company in May 2017 raised $110 million from General Catalyst , IVP , and Spark Capital . During the company’s second round of funding, the startup raised $90 million at a valuation of over $1 billion. To continue its investment in its artificial intelligence technology and to accelerate product innovation and team growth, the company raised $200 million in November 2021. The funds raised were led by Baillie Gifford and managed by BlackRock.
A researcher from Google found that Grammarly Inc had developed extensions for several major web browsers that contained a “high severity” vulnerability. The researcher observed that “any website can log into grammarly.com as you and access all of your documents and other data.” A few hours after being notified of the vulnerability, Grammarly released an update to fix the problem, which he said was “a really impressive response time.” Grammarly reports that no data from users has been compromised despite the severity of the bug.
What is a Unicorn?
A unicorn is an investment term that describes a startup valued at over $1 billion that is privately owned. In 2013, venture capital investor Aileen Lee coined the term “billion-dollar startups” to describe high-tech startups with values over $1 billion.
Unicorns are a subject of considerable controversy. Many industry experts think that the increasing number of unicorns means that the industry is experiencing a bubble. However, others believe the increased number of unicorns is simply a result of innovation and technological progress.
Valuation of Unicorns
Investors and venture capitalists who participated in financing rounds of unicorn companies develop valuations based on those valuations. The value of unicorns is determined by their growth potential and expected development because they are all startups. Based on their actual financial performance or other fundamental data, the unicorns’ valuation does not appear to be strongly related.
Several of the companies have yet to become profitable despite their abnormally high valuations. The valuation of unicorns is a complex process that requires complex factors and long-term forecasts. Often, these companies have business models that cause additional complications. The valuation process becomes even more complicated for companies that are the first in their field.
Unicorn startup features
Startups are not without challenges. Startups become unicorns over time by focusing continuously on their vision and fighting against challenges. The business model and idea of every unicorn startup are different, but there are some things in common. These include:
Several unicorn startups run on technology as their core business model. Paytm, for instance, began by making it easier to recharge phones and DTHs. Consumers and businesses have benefited from the company’s ability to offer payment products.
- Pioneers in their niche
A unicorn startup is often one that enters a field that has never been explored or targeted. Starting in a specific industry has given them an advantage over the competition to ensure long-term success.
Despite these changes, startups that aren’t pioneers are also moving towards or beyond the level of unicorns.
- Consumers benefit from innovation
India has had a large number of unicorn startups that have caused disruption in the industries into which they fall. Booking accommodations while traveling has changed for the better thanks to companies like Oyo. Payments online and in person have been transformed by Paytm, particularly Paytm Wallet. All four companies have an ambition to become an integral part of the daily lives of end users.
- A Privately owned
The chances of a private startup in India becoming a unicorn are higher. Investing from established investors – both Indian and foreign – raises the valuation of a company.
- Start with growth-driven MVPs
Creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) around a vision, then testing, tweaking, and scaling it until it achieves the goals is what a unicorn does.
Unicorns are valued abnormally high because of these reasons
In general, abnormal valuations can be explained by the following factors:
- A fast-growing strategy
Today, venture capitalists concentrate on fast-growth strategies for the development of startups. Using these strategies, investors are encouraged to invest a large amount of money in each financing round in order to capture as much market share as possible as quickly as possible and prevent competition from arising. Every time a unicorn company raises funds, its value rises.
The requirements for an IPO usually aren’t met by many promising startups today. Facebook and Google, however, acquire numerous startups in order to diversify their businesses and prevent major competitors from emerging.
Purchasing developed technologies allows large companies to avoid the expense of developing something similar from scratch. In the competitive industry, tech giants offer high premiums that boost the value of target companies, creating unicorns.
Tech innovations have allowed startups to grow more rapidly. Unicorn startups take advantage of new technologies to reach their customers faster and achieve mass production faster.Unicorn startups take advantage of new technologies to reach their customers faster and achieve mass production faster.
The top 10 unicorns of the United States in 2022 are listed above.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma